Blog


03
Jan 2015
Help Your Dog Weather a Storm

It’s very common for dogs to become upset and frightened during loud thunder, lightning, and heavy rain or snow. Dogs are especially sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and can often sense a coming storm before you can and may begin to act strangely in the hours leading up to a major weather event. Despite the natural inclination to sit with your dog and speak soothingly in an effort to calm them down, this may actually reinforce their anxiety in the long run. Instead, try these techniques to help ease your dog’s......

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27
Oct 2014
"Less-Adoptable" Pets Have Just as Much Love

Pets come in all shapes and sizes with their own unique quirks. While many furry friends are adopted as happy additions to loving families, there are some animals that are overlooked at shelters because of certain “less adoptable” traits. Senior pets, pets with special needs, adult cats and pit bull-type dogs don’t always receive the love that their counterparts do, and can take about four times longer to get adopted than the average pet, according to adoption database Petfinder.com. This year, “Adopt-a-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week,” first launched by Petfinder.com, is being held from Sept. 21-27 to show that every pet......

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30
Sep 2014
Bloat: All Dog Owners Should Be Able to Spot this Deadly Problem

Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that affects dogs in the prime of life. The mortality rate for gastric volvulus approaches 50 percent. Early recognition and treatment are the keys to survival. Anatomy of Bloat Bloat actually refers to two conditions. The first is gastric dilatation,in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach, and therefore rotates with the stomach. Gastric dilatation may or may not be complicated by volvulus. If volvulus......

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18
Aug 2014
Vegan Pet Trend: Your Pets Need Meat-- Here's Why

A heartbreaking case at an animal hospital in North Melbourne, Australia offers another opportunity to warn pet owners about the dangers of feeding biologically-inappropriate diets to cats and dogs According to the Herald Sun, this is a clear-cut case of “people ‘forcing ideologies’ on their pets.” Kitten Fed Vegan Diet by Vegan Owners Nearly Dies at Animal Hospital The presumably vegan owners of a kitten brought the little guy into the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in July. The kitten was in very bad shape. “It was extremely weak and collapsed when it came in. It......

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27
Jul 2014
Senior Dog Behavior: What to Expect

Senior Dogs: Common Behavior Changes Puppies have their behavior problems and older dogs have theirs. For older dogs, in many cases it is not that they do not understand the ‘rules,’ but that they may, for many reasons, be unable to follow them.   SEPARATION ANXIETY Separation anxiety is one of the most common behavior problems seen in older dogs. A dog who has separation anxiety will become very anxious when he senses his owner is about to leave. When the owner does leave, the dog often becomes destructive, barks or howls,......

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14
Jul 2014
Know Your Dangers: Common Household Plants are Poisonous for Cats

Cats will chew on plants. And, because they love to climb and explore, it is difficult to keep plants out of their reach. Therefore, if you are going to have plants in your house, or if you let your cat out in your yard, you need to be able to accurately identify the plants to which your cat will be exposed. When in doubt, however, it is best to remove the plant from your home. If a plant is poisonous, assume all parts of the plant are poisonous — though some parts......

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16
Jun 2014
Lamb Treats Sold in Washington Recalled

LA-based company Pet Center, Inc. is voluntarily recalling their Lamb Crunchy’s dog treats due to Salmonella contamination.  The treats were sold in California, Colorado, Washington, and Wisconsin. Colorado health authorities found the contamination during routine sampling of the all-natural treats.  No illnesses have been reported. Symptoms of poisoning include lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, (bloody) diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.  If you have handled and your pet has ingested these treats, please monitor yourself and your pets’ health closely. The company is encouraging consumers to return the treats to the store of......

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02
Jun 2014
What Not to Feed Your Cat

Although it can be irksome for owners, being branded finicky could ultimately be a boon for cats — especially when it comes to ingesting potentially dangerous foods. “The main drivers of palatability for cats are protein and fat content, with moisture and texture being important too,” says Dr. Sally Perea, DVM, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at P&G Pet Care in Ohio. Some “people food” is safe for cats in small amounts, but certain items — like raw fish and eggs — are definitely hazardous. Dr. Perea lists the top seven no-no foods for kitties:......

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26
May 2014
The Basics on Bird Care

Nutrition Your bird’s diet is one of the most important considerations of its overall care. Adequate feeding plans may be developed from a wide variety of commonly available foods, or formulated diets specially prepared for birds by commercial companies may be offered. Ask your avian veterinarian for recommendations on feeding your bird. Environment Temperature: A healthy bird can tolerate temperatures that are comfortable to its owner. Sudden changes in temperature may be a potential threat to the sick bird. Humidity: Pet birds can adapt to a wide range of humidity levels, although birds native......

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28
Apr 2014
The Importance of Dog Toys

For dogs and other animal companions, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Toys help fight boredom in dogs left alone, and toys can even help prevent some problem behaviors from developing. Although cats can be pretty picky when it comes to enjoying particular toys—ignoring a $10 catnip mouse and marveling over a piece of crumpled newsprint—dogs are often more than willing to “play” with any object they can get their paws on. That means you’ll need to be particularly careful when monitoring your dog’s playtime to prevent any “unscheduled” activities.  “Safe”......

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05
Apr 2014
How Our Pets Understand Us

Research comparing the brain function of dogs and humans found that dogs have “voice areas” in their brains located in the same region as humans. And in both species, this part of the brain is adept at understanding the subtleties between our voice tones that express our different emotions. “Dogs and humans share a similar social environment,” Attila Andics of MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Hungary said in a press release. “Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information. This may support the successfulness of vocal......

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01
Feb 2014
Your Pet's Diet and Health

Most of us overindulge a little over the festive period and start January with a diet and detox – but what about our pets? A recent survey from Melton’s Town & Country Petfoods, owners of the HiLife brand of high quality pet food, revealed that 60 per cent of respondents plied their animals with special treats. But while it’s tempting to give your pet scraps from the table, you may be doing them more harm than good. Recent findings from the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report show that a massive 18.5 million......

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13
Jan 2014
Is Your Pet Sick? What Should You Do?

When a beloved pet seems a bit “off,” it might be more than just a bad day; it could be a sign of mild sickness or a more serious illness. Here are some tips for recognizing the symptoms of sickness in pets and getting your pet the care he needs to recover. Keep in mind that animals will generally attempt to mask signs of illness. This behavior is a natural instinct that is used for protection in the wild, where any animal showing signs of weakness is likely to be shunned by......

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05
Jan 2014

Hey you, new pooch parent—yeah, you with the cute puppy who can’t stop pulling! Want some tricks to keep Trixie on task? Or perhaps you’re already an old pro but want to make your outdoor excursions more fun for both you and your dog.  Follow our insider tips and your pooch will be eager to get going as soon as you pick up the leash! It’s the Leash You Can Do What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins,......

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16
Dec 2013

By Dr. Becker I’m wearing my Scrooge hat again, I’m afraid. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of giving pets as holiday gifts. This is because in most cases (not all, but most) the act is driven not by thoughtful planning but by impulse. Gifting a family member or friend with a 10- to 20-year commitment to a live animal is not something one should do on impulse. It’s rare for people to plan well in advance to acquire a pet during the holidays. It’s much more common for people......

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05
Dec 2013

Your cat’s best friend may not be another cat. Cats are very territorial creatures and often vehemently defend their turf. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for the addition of a new cat to your household to create some inter-cat strife. Adding a second cat Types of aggressive behaviors Consult with a veterinarian Prevent future fights What to avoid Cat friendship is a feline mystery  Adding a second cat Many people adopt a second cat thinking that the resident cat will be happy. This is a risky move. Just because your cat......

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20
Nov 2013

Rupee, a formerly homeless dog rescued from a dump by his current owner Joanne Lefson, is thought to be the first dog in the world to climb Mount Everest. A former stray dog has pulled himself up by the bootstraps and created a better life for himself. A life that includes becoming the first dog ever to climb Mount Everest. Say hello to Rupee, the formerly homeless pup who was found starving in a dump in India. His owner, Joanne Lefson, rescued him and helped nurse him back to health, feeding him......

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13
Nov 2013

For our family, choosing a name was neither simple nor swift. After all, it had taken my daughters a decade of whining and deliberating over breeds that wouldn’t aggravate the allergy-stricken (me), just to get to the point of agreeing to get a Havanese. And because I am the family research queen, I found a way to make the process even more complicated. A little research elicited a lot of information. I found lists of the most common dog names. A Web site with thousands of names, sorted into categories like “cool,”......

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04
Nov 2013

It’s that time of year–the leaves are almost done falling, the time has fallen back an hour, and some parts of the country are looking forward to ice, snow, and freezing cold temperatures. Now’s the time to snuggle up in front of a fireplace with a warm kitty on your lap or a puppy at your feet. But before you settle down to your long winter’s nap, take some time to learn how to keep those animals as warm and comfortable as you are. Cold weather can be hard on pets, just......

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22
Oct 2013

You’ve probably heard of the hormone/neurotransmitter oxytocin. Its role in childbirth (where it often goes by the medicine’s trade name Pitocin) is well known, but researchers continue to uncover new details about how it effects social interactions, particularly with regards to the formation of interpersonal bonds.   Most of these studies involve members of the same species. That more or less immediate bond that many mothers feel for their newborn babies is due in large part to oxytocin. The molecule has been shown to improve social memory between mice and face recognition......

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